The US Educational Foundation in India, offering Fulbright scholarships for study and research in the America, would launch for the first time a teacher exchange programme between India and the US in May 2004.
Announcing this in Kolkata on Friday, USEFI executive director Jane E Schukoske said the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program would enable Indian secondary school teachers (IX-XII standards) to participate in direct exchanges of positions with US teachers for the semester beginning August/September, 2005.
"Indian teachers of English, maths and science, selected for the exchange, will have opportunity to work in US school system and experience US society and culture," she said.
The programme will be of five weeks duration.
Announcing Fulbright fellowships for 2005-6, Schukoske said about 65 scholars would be selected from India for research in various disciplines, including arts, conflict resolution, humanities and social sciences, information science and technology, law, management and public administration.
The USEFI has a total budget of about $2.3million, including a $1.35mn funding from the US Congress, for Indian fellowships.
"We have been talking to the Indian government as also the University Grant Commission for raising additional funds for the purpose," Schukoske said.
While India figures among the countries having a bigger Fulbright programme like Japan, Germany, Korea etc, further increase in the number of fellowships and areas covered for Indian scholars would require additional funds from the partner country, Schukoske said.
The USEFI currently enjoys some tax relief from the Centre but needs additional fund inflow to enhance the size of the programme in India.
In this regard, she welcomed initiatives by some private institutions like the Manipal Academy for Higher Education, which has decided to pay half the cost of bringing American scholars to the academy.
The USEFI, which has been administering the Fulbright programme in India since 1950, awarded about 7,354 fellowships to Indian and US nationals.
A total number of 246 Indian scholars had been to the US as against 312 US scholars coming to India under the Fulbright programme during the last five years.
The number of scholars availing the Fulbright fellowships in both India and the US has been increasing in recent years.
The representation of the eastern and northeastern states among Indian scholars, though increasing over the years, had remained comparatively low and the USEFI is now focusing on spreading its programme in those regions.
The total number of applications for 63 Fulbright scholarships was about 600 in 2003.
External Link: Fulbright India website